Skip to content
 

Island Mystique: Three startling differences Between India and Sri Lanka

Professor Alaka Basu ~ pic: cornell.edu

By Alaka M.Basu

Hello Friends

A friend sent me an interesting article that appeared in “The Telegraph”published in Kolkota (Calcutta). It is written by Alaka M.Basu who is a professor in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University,USA.

Ms.Basu was in Sri Lanka on a holiday recently and is captivated by its charm like most travellers to our lovely Island “where every prospect pleases”.

She has viewed Sri Lanka from the perspective of being an Indian woman and has compared and contrasted both countries based on her limited experience.

Alaka observes that there are three startling or striking differences between Sri Lanka and India.

Since these “differences” pinpointed by her are complimentary to Sri Lanka I am tempted to repeat the famous French statement about the differences between women and men “Vive La Difference”.

I do not want to comment on the impressions of Ms. Basu but simply thank her for writing from her heart about Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans.

It is refreshingly different and certainly made me “feel good” for a while

I want to share this with readers and am reproducing it on my blog.

So here it is Friends-DBS Jeyaraj

Island Mystique:Three startling differences Between India and Sri Lanka

By Alaka M.Basu

I am writing this on the road from Colombo to Kandy. And again (I have been doing this repeatedly for the last four days) I thank the gods for having allowed this break from the bitter cold of Delhi into such a lush paradise of warmth and water and throat-searing food.

But it is also a bit disorienting to be in this country. It feels like home country (the landscape is especially so reminiscent of Kerala) and yet there is something that is distinctly different. One does not get this kind of disorientation in a patently different land — Japan or Sweden for example; there everything is new and different and so one is clearly an outsider. And within India, even in places far away from one’s “usual place of residence” (as the census calls it), there are reminders of the larger country one claims citizenship of — Hindi film music wafting out of narrow lanes, life-sized posters of un-photogenic politicians wishing someone or being wished by someone or the other “haardik kamnayein” for a birthday or festival, familiar brand names of soaps and spices in roadside grocery stores.

This is what I think at first is the cause of the feeling of disorientation in Colombo. Until I notice that I recognize the Hindi film melodies of the Sinhala songs playing on taxi radios and notice that Sri Lankan politicians are as un-photogenic and as poster-hungry as ours, and discover that the Tata and Airtel and Reliance (as well as Ariel and Colgate and Lux) brands are as visibly ubiquitous as in India.

So what is it that makes me feel out of place? The drive to Kandy is long and my moving pen gradually reaches a conclusion. There is something culturally amiss here. I am not seeing some important things that I expect to see when the people around look so much like me that they even come and ask me for road directions.

Culture is a big word, I know, and it implies things that are long-standing and stable and difficult to change. If I believed this lay definition of culture I would be very depressed indeed, because what is missing in Sri Lankan culture should be missing from India too, and the thought of culture being an immutable thing should make one hopelessly sad in this particular case.

Luckily, the more academic current definition of culture is all about it being dynamic and changeable and negotiable, so maybe reflecting on the positive culture of Sri Lanka will help us to change and negotiate our own negative one as well.

So how are Sri Lankans different from us? I know of course all the text book stuff that was rammed down our throats in classes on development in college — the remarkable literacy rates (virtually universal), the excellent health (infant mortality, maternal mortality and life expectancy levels that rival Western Europe’s), the fantastic public services for health and education that persist in the face of a neo-liberal economy.

I also know that this country has seen more than two decades of brutal violence, which seems to have finally ended or at least paused (thanks to a period of even more brutal violence, some say). But these are not things that one notes visually and anecdotally enough to account for one’s feeling of disorientation.

Then what are these more obviously visible unique features of life in Sri Lanka? I think that three startling differences make up the root cause of my disorientation. Maybe they are related, but maybe they are not — they are quite distinct and don’t automatically accompany economic growth (they certainly have not accompanied our own long period of 8-9 per cent gross domestic product growth); that is why I call them cultural rather than socio-economic.

First of all (and dearest to my own heart) is the ease and joy with which women traverse public spaces. In the densest crowds, such as in the packed public buses we ride in Colombo and (as I am still to discover) in the heaving masses paying their new year’s respects in the Tooth temple in Kandy, if this had been India (and especially if this had been Delhi), there would have been few women daring enough to actually be present as well as to smile pleasantly at strangers — even male strangers, as my husband happily discovers.

Instead they would be fearful of being groped and mauled if young (or even middle-aged) and pushed roughly aside if old and weak. But I am not ‘eve-teased’ and nor do I break any bones; so I wonder what age category I should slot myself in. Instead, there is a miraculous one inch of free space that surrounds me from top to bottom and back to front right in the middle of these superficially shoving crowds. I cannot stop rubbing my eyes in amazement at this.

My second reason for feeling out of place is that public spaces are unreasonably clean. Neither in Colombo nor on the road to Kandy did I see the mounds of filth-encrusted plastic bags and other forms of smelly or environment-contaminating waste that even the most expensive parts of our own cities and towns revel in. Nor were public buildings and roadsides ungrudging receptacles for fiery red spit. Sri Lankans may not eat paan, but they do use plastic bags alas, and they must be having household garbage too; where they dispose of these things remains a mystery to me.

The third striking absence was of the kind of degrading poverty one sees in such abundance in any place in India. I don’t think their poor and homeless get hidden from view as ours reportedly were in Delhi during the Commonwealth Games and, yet, even the one apparent beggar I saw on the street, and tried to give some change to, turned out to have a sheaf of lottery tickets she pressed upon me in return. This absence of broken-hearted (and frequently broken-limbed) poverty was so in your face that I forgave myself for wondering which planet I was on.

The explanation probably lies in the equally implausible absence of evidence of roaring wealth of the kind that hurts one’s eyes and ears in the shopping malls of Delhi and Mumbai and Calcutta (my anthropological expedition to the mall in Colombo — Majestic City — that the local people proudly urged me to visit was such a damp squib after Ambience Mall in Delhi and South City in Calcutta) as well as in the fancy car dealerships in Kolhapur and Coimbatore. In other words, in spite of having a per capita income close to twice ours, if crazy consumerism is a bit reined in in Sri Lanka, there must be greater income equality than we have here and that might explain the relative absence of stark poverty.

PS: When I started writing this piece, I meant to include a fourth Sri Lankan virtue — the absence of petty cheating. But this had to be dropped after our experience at the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala.

As we neared the bathing baby elephants in this spot of popular tourist attraction, a scrupulously innocent looking man in a lungi persuaded us to give him Rs 100 for a bag of bananas to feed the elephants. Excited about this feeding adventure we rushed to the water only to be stopped by a guard who pointed us to a sign saying that feeding the animals was prohibited and that we had to leave the bananas on the ground. Needless to say, given our Indian expectations, when we turned around within seconds before admiring the elephants, there was no sign of the fruit seller or the guard. Or the packet of bananas.

121 Comments

  1. Athula says:

    Thank you s.Basu for this beautiful piece.Only a beautiful soul will write like this

  2. Athula says:

    I forgot to add that Ms. Basu is as beautiful as her thoughts and words

  3. Gerry says:

    I think she has been too nice. We dont deserve such praise

  4. TRN says:

    Thank you Professor Alaka Basu for your writing which comes from the bottom of your heart.

    Except for politicians and dirty politics Sri lanka is a paradise on earth.

    May be it is 2nd only to the Garden of Eaden,in comparison to Sri Lanka’s rich nature and its natural beauty.

  5. TRN says:

    Dear DBSJ,

    Can u please consider an article on Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, who is known as Gaza Doctor.

    He wrote the international best seller ‘I shall not hate: A Gaza Doctors journey’ in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy where three of his daughters and a nice were killed by Israeli shell during the 2009 Gaza war.

    He has attended Galle Literary Festival 2012.

  6. RajasH says:

    old news. however valid. I jusr returned from Sri Lanka.It is indeed clean, no beggars, no stray dogs.
    However it is sad to see CTB buses speeding along Ramakrishna Road in Wellawatte, which was once a sleepy and quiet and peaceful road.

  7. a voter says:

    Nice to hear such thoughts, But I feel you didn’t see the whole picture.

  8. Ranjan, Toronto says:

    Having being to Delhi in recent times, I can say that most of what Professor writes is spot on. As a previous poster says, one almost think that we do not deserve such praise, but this is indeed the general reaction of Indian visitors to Sri Lanka.

    As DBS writes, this one made me feel really good. Lets hope that Sri Lankans keep this beloved island the way it should be always.

  9. Morgan Jurado says:

    Dear DBS
    thank you for publishing this article.
    Dear Alak Basu,
    thank you for observation and presentation. I completley agree with you. as you travelled to Sri lanka, being a sri lankan I travelled to Delhi recently. inspite of witnessing western styled Ampience Mall, well engineered reliance metro system, well polished hotels etc, what caught my eyes stikingly was utter filthiness of the out side city. spit, mud, faeces, urine, a dirty man/ drunkem ma lying on side of the road… I never expected old Delhi to be so filthy. coming out of the hotel to the road is like getting into the hell from heaven. othe major striking feature is the vast gap in the life style and the living condition between the poor and the wealthy, upper middle class. my own feeling is that the growning India is heading to increase this gap more and more. I hear from my indioan collegues that this diffences are far more obvious in most of the nothern states of india. I hear heart aching stories about vast malpractices and neglection in indian medical practice and health service. I still feel proud of being known as sri lankan. I strongly feel there is vast majority of srilankans, whether they are sinhalese or tamils or muslims there is gooness in people, there is a great extent of personal discipline and culture. (the anarchy and destruction happened in the recent decades mainly staged by power hungry politicians, monks and militants). By the mean time I am affraid to say and I am starting to get very anxious that what you saw and what I feel proud of my country may going to become the past. because of the present political culture and the MR group mafia we are starting to see the signs of degradation. we need to do something to stop this erosion and corrosion.

  10. Revi Unni says:

    An eye opener for all Indians

  11. kokuvilan says:

    THERE ALWAYS TWO SIDES IN A COIN.MY DEAR BASU WHY DONT YOU TRAVEL TO JAFFNA OR MULLAITHIVU AND WRITE ABOUT THAT TO SEE REAL TRUTH OF BEAUTIFULL?SRI-LANKA

  12. I'm Eelam says:

    you missed some threatening pissus on the street.
    I’m Eelam

  13. Kapila Kahapola says:

    DBSJ Annai, Hope U dont Mind if I Share this Somewhere Else !!!

  14. aratai says:

    .
    For the first time in years, I feel proud of being a Srilankan.

    :-)

  15. Garvin says:

    A thing of beauty is a Joy forever. Beautiful people like this lady professor have beautiful thoughts and when they put them to pen the end product is a joy forever

  16. DilshanF says:

    Thank you Prof Alaka Basu for your kind comments.

    But we do have our share of groping in buses. I do not know how to compare with other countries but if you do ask most working women their main concern is groping IF it is a crowded bus. It is not condoned and many men caught would be given a hiding from other passengers. We do have our quota of cheats and liars and not necessarily in the political scene as well. Financial scams, job scams, mystical scams are a plenty.

    However I must agree with you on the general lack of poverty and cleanliness.

    On a very recent trip to the southern sector I commented to my driver how well the people looked. No torn shirts or buttons missing, no disheveled hair. almost no beggars other than for perhaps those unable to find work due to deformity.
    My driver said poverty is there only in the city. In the villages and out of central Colombo people eat differently, no need for gas, free school, medicines and hospital care. Free school books and uniforms – in fact no need to work ! Almost everyone has a mobile phone and colour TV. Everyone’s someone is working abroad.

    But there is unhappiness too. Some end their lives when they do not have a means to live and we do have a high suicide rate. We have our rapes and murder and child abuse.

    BUT…. BUT..

    This is a land full of joy and happiness and I am happy you have found some good in it. Only those who see flowers and beauty in their day to day life would enjoy happiness. Its not that we have our dark area’s but the Joy is enjoying the sunshine.

    On another note I am currently madly in love with the song ‘Kolaveri di’.
    If there is one song that can cross boundaries this it it. I hope that DBSJ can write about this song and the writer singer. The song is worth to be on this blog.

  17. wije says:

    I agree. Actually, I have heard that eve-teasing isn’t so bad in southern India. It is the worst in the north.

  18. Merlin Van Tweest says:

    The professor’s observation that there is equitable distribution of wealth in Sri Lanka compared to India and the fact that GDP per capita is twice that of India and progressing at a faster pace according to IMF and Asian Development Bank statistics is a given fact .The other factors of infant mortality, maternal mortality, life expectancy and literacy rates that rival the western economies and is indeed far ahead of India proves that Sri Lanka and its people and economy are very different from India.

    There is a lot India can learn from Sri Lanka too. Sri Lanka is not imbued with the rigid caste system that is prevalent in India. Sri Lanka has a much more socialist outlook towards its citizens and does not subscribe to the ‘survival of the fittest’ aspect of the Indian social system. I wholly subscribe to the professor’s statement and I quote ‘Luckily, the more academic current definition of culture is all about it being dynamic and changeable and negotiable, so maybe reflecting on the positive culture of Sri Lanka will help us to change and negotiate our own negative one as well.’ end of quote .

    Many of my acquaintances of Indian origin who go to Sri Lanka with the impression that Sri Lanka is very much like South India and come back with the enlightened surprise how very much Sri Lanka, its people and its culture and attitude differ from South India or India as a whole.

    Extrapolating from this fact it is apparent that the politics in these countries are also very different. Hence the imposition of an Indian type federal system (the brainchild of J.N. Dixit the former Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Rajiv Gandhi) will not work in Sri Lanka.

    Sri Lanka is currently burdened with the Provincial Political system imposed by Rajiv metaphorically ‘holding a gun’ to JRJ’s head. This extra tier of government for a small country (incidentally that is smaller than some federal states in India) is economically wasteful and does not improve the politics for the citizen. Unfortunately we are burdened with this system and the sooner we replace it with a unitary system of government the better it will be. In the 21st century where communications and travel will make Jaffna, Tricomalee, Batticoloa, Mannar, Galle, Matara, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya a few hours by rail in the near future makes a mockery of the this Indian imposed provincial system.

    Even the ethnic/linguistic issue cannot be resolved by splitting the country into ethnic divisions and giving police and land powers (the so called 13th amendment – incidentally another Indian imposition). It would be better to go back to the fundamentals of individual human rights and legislate for the ‘rights of the individual’ with appropriate judicial powers to enforce this on individuals as well as politicians and political parties that fall foul of this legislation. This will ensure the rights of each and every one in Sri Lanka despite their ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious background will be held to account and protected.

  19. Is there hope says:

    Perhaps she has not stayed long enough in SL to notice the “ugly side” of Sri Lanka. May if she had gone to Tangalle she would have seen some of it.

    “in spite of having a per capita income close to twice ours” The question is how reliable is the statistics which SL publishes from time to time?

    Indias problem is its vastness and the swelling population. Compared to India, SL is a tiny country with a small population and large cabinet, which is out of proportion to the population. Of course they all get paid for nothing!!!(except for grinning from ear to ear from the gigantic posters)

  20. Henry says:

    First my heart goes out to DBS J for his usual Godly manner in which he reaches us in his sagacious choice of subject matter for elucidation.
    Then coming to the learned Professor Alaka Basu,you have been so magnanimous to shower our Country with your dazzling comments that make us Sri Lankans so proud.
    The near miss of that fourth virtue resulting from a foolish action by one bad egg sadden us immensely. Hope before you make another trip we would rectify ourselves and also lay claim for more.
    The dawn of such and more splendour in our gracious neighbour, India, too is our fervent wish.

  21. Anonymous says:

    A friend of mine from Pakistan also an assistant Professor in one University in UAE recently visited to Sri Lanka and he wrote that he had very good vacation time in SL and shared many of his photos in FB. He wrote that he would visit to SL again next year. After seeing those photos many of his friends also wrote that they would visit to those places in SL. Funny part is a Northerner I was seeing tourist palaces in SL through the camera of my friend from Pakistan.

    Recently one of my coworker (Jewish) asked me about good places to visit in SL. He said that his best friend was going to SL for his honeymoon. I told him that he was asking the wrong guy because my time in SL was all about war and because of it I couldn’t see any cool places in SL.

  22. Pakya Nathan says:

    I think this kind of knee jerk writing while uplifting and ego boosting for the Lankan’s will encourage the racism that Sri Lanakan’s and especially Sinhalese have towards Indian’s and specifically towards upcouontry Tamils who they dub as “Indian Tamils”. When she means Sri Lankan’s she means Sinhala people I think on the whole like most Indians. 300 more years of western colonialism, Budhism could be factors. But there is no denying most of the money is earned off the backs of plantaion labour, tourist prostitution, sweat shops and maid service to the Middle east in Sri Lanka. While India for all its faults have not been so vicious in its pograms against minorities espcially government sponsored ones.

  23. Pakya Nathan says:

    I think this kind of knee jerk writing while uplifting and ego boosting for the Lankan’s will encourage the racism that Sri Lanakan’s and especially Sinhalese have towards Indian’s and specifically towards upcouontry Tamils who they dub as “Indian Tamils”. When she means Sri Lankan’s she means Sinhala people I think on the whole like most Indians. 300 more years of western colonialism, Budhism could be factors. But there is no denying most of the money is earned off the backs of plantaion labour, tourist prostitution, sweat shops and maid service to the Middle east in Sri Lanka. While India for all its faults is more self reliant and have not been so vicious in its pograms against minorities espcially government sponsored ones.

  24. jagan sriram says:

    i think it is unfair to blame federal system for all the ills that plague india.federal system has been successfull in india and that is one of the reason why regional parties have a stranglehold over indian political system.srilanka or rather precisely sinhalese may not need the system but tamils need it.they need to protect their culture and their rights enshriined in the constitution.federal system can be compared to a joint family where every family has got its own room to retire at the end of the day.so dont fault federal set up and i think unitary system is one of the main reasons why srilanka is being plagued by ethnic strifes.lastly sinhalese should shed their insecurity and view any demand for provincial rights as an act of treason.

  25. A. Sellathurai says:

    For most of us, it is a known fact that the gap between India and SL in regard to the three startling differences quoted by the Professor was considerably big when they gained independence. The useful thing to find out is how a progress chart drawn for a period of six decades for each country in this respect would appear.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Kokuvilan,

    I went there also and it is very nice and pristine. A lot of development is happening: massive road development, buildings, hospitals, schools and etc….

    I was wondering if all this infrastructure development is taking place with investment from the Tamil diaspora that funded the Tamil Tiger terrorists or if the the SL govt is doing all this by themselves. The govt does deserve alot of credit for what they are doing if the diaspora is not helping any at all.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Please stop pissing on the street.

  28. Kalu Albert says:

    Top Shelf stuff from this Straight as an Arrow Professor.

    Clean Air even in the Capital Colombo can not go unnoticed.

    Access to Beaches, and pristine ones in the North and the East with coastline land going to foreign hand at bargain basement prices is also worth a mention.

    Three International Airports , the latest at the urging of this Professor’s own Govt,recreational facilities for the well heeled , such as Golf Courses in the South and the East already under way, the Island is becoming more and more desirable for the new Middle Class in India,

    After all it is only a couple of hours by King Fisher even from the Top End of the Town.

    Holiday pads in all Tamil Wellawatta, overlooking the Indian Ocean are going at less than a tenth of the price of “Match Boxes” in Bombay.

    With the Middle classes numbering 3 or 4 hundred Million,,the fellow compatriots of this Professor are sure to look at Srilanka in a more serious manner soon.

  29. chelliah says:

    hello mr dbs,

    here you go again

    when we have friends like you

    we don’t need any enemies!

    why are you wasting your and our time on meaningless articles

    by ignorant people?

    the lady must be suffering from “sight problems”.

    i think in my openion she is very selective and not very thoughtful

    of her’s writing!

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Just two things

    Firstly who are the “WE”you refer to and why do you presume me to be part of that “WE” and who gave you the right to speak on behalf of the so called “WE”?

    Secondly you are most welcome to keep away from this site and spend your valuable time elsewhere. If you do so I along with many of our readers will echo Martin Luther King jnr joyfully by shouting “free at last, Free at last”.

  30. Sinhalan says:

    Oh the sweet poetry flowing from the diaspora donkey. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Silindu says:

    Methinks the lady is too naive or too kind

  32. From Ambalangoda says:

    DBSJ, It is nice to see that you felt good about this article. It made me feel good too. However, after some thought reality strikes. There are many things great in Sri Lanka, but we have many problems too.

    I think it is important that all Tamils feel proud of SL (especially the ones living there) and feel Sri Lankan. Somehow we need make it happen. A country cannot succeed unless all it citizens feel proud of their country. Not sure how to do it, but this needs to be done.

    The Ealamist like to think SL is a failed state and they don’t want believe that things are not as bad as they wish it to be. All they want it to do is destroy SL at whatever cost. Even if it effects the Tamil population as well. They need to justify their decision to leave SL. Actually there some Sinhalese who live in the west who likes to bash SL too. Most often they tend to be the people who were doing well in Sri Lanka and who are struggling in the west. They want to convince themselves that migrating to the west was a good idea.

  33. Tom says:

    Lovely article by a lovely lady about a lovely land and her lovely people

  34. Dexter says:

    Filthy Gorgeous

    Of all the third-world metropolises, few are as maligned as Kolkata. To many, it is synonymous with bleakness, instinctually associated with slums, delirious traffic, Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying and weary rickshaw pullers. But it is also part of India’s cultural bedrock, having produced some of its greatest writers, thinkers, artists and filmmakers.

    Read more…> http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/17/filthy-gorgeous/

  35. Anonymous says:

    Oprah sees calm beneath chaos in India

    http://www.thehindu.com/arts/books/article2823176.ece

  36. Many things , we do not appreciate about SriLanka. Blessed with good people and fertile soil to feed every one. we never had famine in our history. I lived in India 3 years. traveled south Asia.there is no country comparable in all aspect. only negative racist or myopic political headship from all community for last 60 years.

  37. Sinha says:

    Professor Basu

    Thank you for this positive piece at a time when most foreigners keep bashing my country

    If I get the opportunity I will welcome you into my house with betel ,wash your feet and dry them and then treat you to a meal in the traditional way as a token of my gratitude

  38. Atlanta, USA says:

    Thank you Professor for your well intended article of your experience in Sri Lanka. In fact, I observed the same during my last visit in August and was pleasently surprised. Being a Sri Lankan who has been there very frequently, I couldn’t believe this change. Therefore I made some inquiries and to my disbelief I found out that the government has an on-going program, eliminating beggars in and around Colombo and other major cities and they purnish those who litter brutally. That is Mahinda Chinthana for you!.
    Instead of developing the country and it economy, Sri Lankan government has chosen to adopt quick and inhumane policies. Only a dictotorial government can impliment such policies. However India has real economic growth programs to develop itself and to improve the life of it’s people. It may not be quick but it is real!

    My question to fellow Sri Lankan’s and to other – Is this inhumane policies are a worthy price?

  39. Hooriya says:

    Im a Canadian citizen.Im a Sri Lankan.I love Sri Lanka.I also love India.I write in defence of India.Every Indian has an inborn rhythm in them.Melodious voices.Idli which are ao soft like jasmines.Plenty of Sambhar,and coconut chutney.For a very reasonable price,plenty and more.The buffalo curd,is unbelievably delicious.Every different area of India have their own delicacies.The size of India is slightly smaller than the province of Ontario.There is no comparison between India and Sri Lanka.Both are beautiful,wondrous countries.My brother who lived in Switzerland for over forty years,visited Kerala with his wife and some friends.I have relatives in Kerala.He was absolutely enchanted by the women.He said”They got off the carriages of the trains,buses,other vehicles like Apsaras.Ador.ning their hair with fresh Jasmines.Who needs GUcci and Armani,when the whiff of Jasmines float in the air with their every movement”So thats only a fraction of India.Its throbbing,with life.The sheer size and magnitude of India is mind boggling.A hindu family befriended us when we were stranded in Quetta.They extended their hospitality for over a week.We left because we had to continue with our trip.Pomegranes piled on carts,like rubies.India is great.So is Sri Lanka,in its own isolation as a green Emerald isle.Lets be positive.Every country has its pros and cons.When its Sri Lanka,the very minuteness makes it so much easier,to handle.Every thing is close and integrated.Mixing of races.Cultures.Close knit.Having had the fortune of being able to travel extensively,there is one main feature about Sri Lanka.Nowhere in the world,but in Sri Lanka does this happen.Easygoing hospitable people.When you meet a stranger,and a friendship develops,rich or poor,Sri Lanksns are the only people who will say with every sincerity”Please come to my house for a meal”Let it be a mansion or a hut,they invite their guests to their housesWhat greater honor can a person bestow.We will learn and share with each other as we grow even closer.Jai Hind,Ayubowan.

  40. Colomba Kolla says:

    Unfortunately, this poor lady does not know the actual face of Sri Lanka. Just by staying there for a few days, you will not know the actual Sri Lanka.

    First she is saying the women are safe in Sri Lanka. The foreign women are getting raped left, right and center in Sri Lanka by the ruling elite.

    Colombo, the one and only one metropolitan city in Sri Lanka is no different from the Indian metropolitan cities.

    Second she says Sri Lanka is clean. When you get down from Katunayaka Airport and as you enter Colombo (Paliyagoda Bridge) that area is full of stinking slums/shanties. Is not this place the one and only one metropolitan city in Sri Lanka known as Colombo?

    If you go to places like Thotalanga, Dematagoda, Wanathamulla, Kettarama, Maradana, Slave Island, Panchikawatte, Maligawatte, Pamankade, and so many other places in this one and only one metropolitan city in Sri Lanka known as Colombo you find plenty of slums/shanties with stinking canals and piles of dirt.

    This one and only one metropolitan city in Sri Lanka known as Colombo is full of dirty stinking places, polluted canals, shanties, and full of beggars, pickpockets, thugs, prostitutes, pimps, drug addicts, and what not.

    Third she says there are no beggars in Sri Lanka. Colombo is FULL of beggars and there is hardly any public toilet in the city? Most of these beggars live and sleep and poop in Colombo public bus stands and under flyovers.

    This Professor Alaka Basu must have received very good treatment (hospitality) in Sri Lanka but what she has written about Sri Lanka is not correct.

  41. peacelover says:

    Great response by a Srilankan living in a western world to the article written by an Indian tourist settled in West. For an Indian of course Srilanka looks better in sevral aspects. Her observations as a tourist visiting the island on a few weeks trip cannot be taken very seriouly. Is she comparing Srilanka to Singapore of for that matter to rest of the many developing or developed countries in the world.

    Srilankans to aim high and Indians to aim higher to reach the high end of human civilization.

    I would rather bring here the observations of Srilankan by Gordon Weiss, who worked as a UN Spokesperson in Srilanka in his interview to a Canadian Right Wing Newspaper:

    “You have the first experience with Sri Lankans, it’s a very friendly one, they’re very smiley, and the resorts. There’s a whole life that operates at that level. But dig a little deeper and learn a little bit about Sri Lanka and you realize it’s a place that’s got multiple tensions running at cross purposes to each other, and all taking place on this hothouse island.”

    Srilanka’s dirty secrets:
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Lanka+dirty+secret/5417334/story.html
    sep 17, 11

  42. Gamage says:

    DishanF,

    I totally agree with you including the song “Kolaveri di’. Out of the 37 millions Utube hits 20-30 are mine.

  43. Pahi from Nigeria says:

    I am very disappointed with her article.

    1.She was only in Colombo and Kandy. Why she did not go to other places??.

    2.Why she avoided to the north? It’s different(country??) from Sri Lanka?

    3.In North she could have seen lots of widows, demolished homes, demolished temples and churches, new buddiest temples, people are in the camp, Armies are ruling in the gun point etc…

    4.She is beautiful than her article. It’s very sorry to say but it’s fact.

  44. Jayan says:

    In India you get two sections; dark side or the hidden part and illusion or the area that one would like to see. But in Sri Lanka, whether you like it or not get only one picture, the actual, real life Sri Lanka. The good professor has seen it and we are proud of it, though it’s not all perfect.

  45. dingiri says:

    As a Sri Lankan who has travelled fairly widely in India I would like to return Prof. Alaka Basu’s complement. India is different from Sri Lanka. But not I believe in a negative way. True, there is poverty and rubish in the big cities but their is an exotic charm in spite of that. Away from the cities, in rural West Bengal, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand and the Nilgiris there is no rubbish, little poverty, scenic beauty and lots of lovely, friendly people who would not dream of scamming or defrauding or eve-teasing.

  46. Gamaya1 says:

    When did you go to Sri Lank last time or You live there? She is comparing Some Indian parts to Sri Lanka. i had been to India. Some people are really mega rich. But poverty is absolute disgrace. I once bought burger in McDonalds in India (Delhi) and saw a boy trying to eat something from the garbage dump. I immediately throw the burger away as I have to get on to Tourist bus (Could not give him that). It was not isolated incident as in another place My mum and I gave our lunches to 3-4 children sitting near a dirty sewage line and begging for food. I Can go on but suffice to say I never experienced that ins Sri Lanka.

  47. Demoncry says:

    Alaka , you are luckey woman, see below. probably you did not visit down south wher Mahinda’s rule is prevalent.

    Sexual abuse of another foreign woman down south
    Increased police presence needed for unsupervised, unlicensed guest houses in new tourist zones

  48. Merlin Van Tweest says:

    Jagan,
    I am not blaming India’s ills on its federal system. The federal system in India is well suited for a large country such as India with its many languages. Also the linguistic differences in India run along territorial demarcations very clearly. Each state in India has its own language and the official language for all states is Hindi and is the vehicle for communications with the central government and between the states is Hindi though English is also utilised at times. This is accepted by all states – though Tamil Nadu has objected to Hindi as an official language of India from time to time.

    Unlike India Sri Lanka is miniscule in territory (as I have alluded earlier some Indian states are many times the size of Sri Lanka) and hence a Federal system aping India is too over bearing and divisive for a very small country like Sri Lanka.

    As I have indicated earlier the population and linguistic demarcations make the federal system suitable for India as population is very static and the small internal migration between states will not dent the majority of the individual states. By contrast population mobility in a small country like Sri Lanka is constantly changing. This is borne out by the Tamils themselves where the majority of the Tamils (53 percent at the last count) live in the South of Sri Lanka. These movement of peoples from North to South, South to North, East to South etc will only accelerate in the future when travel within the country will only improve with better roads, faster rail services etc in the 21st century. With 250 miles per hour trains in the near future, the distance of 160 miles between Colombo and Trincomalee will be less than an hour. One can envisage a future where a person living in Trincomalee may be working in Colombo of vice versa.

    As for your point in protecting and enhancing Tamil culture and language, it is a great misnomer to suggest that territorial separation will somehow preserve that. Sri Lanka embodies many cultures other than Sinhala and Tamil. There are Burghers, Malay, Moors, Sindhis, Borahs to name just a few whose cultural integrity is still very prevalent in Sri Lanka and none these cultures have a territory to call their own and they have prospered despite the majority being Sinhala Buddhists.

    Indeed these smaller minorities and their languages do not have the patronage of the government like Tamil that is a joint official language in Sri Lanka where new civil servants must have a working knowledge of Tamil and Sinhalese to be employed in the government service. The unique Sri Lankan Tamil culture and language is flourishing in Sri Lanka as seen by the innumerable Hindu temples all over Sri Lanka and the dances and cultural icons that are Tamil that are prevalent all over the country and are not a monopoly of the North and East. The very fact that the majority in Colombo is Tamil despite Colombo being the capital city, gives a lie to the fact that a sole territory is required to enhance one’s culture and language.

  49. Londoner says:

    I have been to both Sri Lanka and India and am surprised about Colomba Kolla’s comments on the article. I have been to Sri Lanka before and I spent both my Christmas and New Year in Sri Lanka and returned only few weeks ago. I found Sri Lanka exactly as A.M.Basu has described it. I travelled to Kandy and Galle while being stationed in Colombo. I found whereever I went and every city I travelled clean – specially Colombo. I went into the heart of Colombo by taxi to pick up my hire car. This was somewhere in the Slave Island area. It was as clean as any other part I have travelled. I did see the odd beggar. But didn’t see any poo as this guy’s comments claim as I went to Dehiwala and parked my car under the flyover. Sri Lanka and its cleanliness is such a fresh of breath air, I feel London councils can pick a leaf out of the Sri Lankans. I find London more dirtier. I am not sure where this guy get his facts from, looks like he is in a mission to discredit Sri Lanka. Shame on you.

  50. Londoner says:

    dont forget so called MR group mafia’s erosion and corrosion has saved the country from the 30 year civil war and as a result of the development it is experiencing currently, Sri Lanka is ranked as the fastest growing economy… what an idiot you are. are you being paid to write crap like this?

  51. Anonymous says:

    well said Anonymous

  52. B. Uma says:

    Great finding Dr. Noel Nadesan!!!

    Sri Lanka is ‘blessed’ with ‘separation’ as an island, by the Palk Strait, from rest of South Asia. Otherwise it would avail to all the problems and issues that South Asia wrestles with.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Atlanta, if you are complaining about something be specific. Which inhumane policies are you referring to? Mahinda Chinthana has given the country a 8% growth – even higher than mighty India. The Lady says people are happy. So if you cant be specific about your facts, stop wasting your time, you sound like a right prat who is jelous about this beautiful island Sri Lanka, her people and her wonderful economic development. Watch this space. She is not done yet!

  54. Sinhalan says:

    I also inquired and found out that the beggars were taken and gassed man! If they were Tamil they were raped as well I heard from sources. This brutal Mahinda Chinthanaya that must end.

  55. SenaM says:

    Thank You DBSJ,

    Do you know you have a big weakness? You cannot resist something positive about Sri Lanka. But I gladly forgive you since I indulge in the same weakness. I see your heart yearns for the beautiful country we all hail from while crying for the injustices and imperfections. After all Sri Lankans are also humans and not perfect. But as this large hearted lady professor says we are much better off comparatively and it will get better in future.

    If she had been in Sri Lanka for a longer time, her assessment would be more realistic, but being from India, I can see that she is somewhat “blinded by the glamor”.

    Thank you Prof. Basu. You made me proud being a Sri Lankan. We will try to go from good to better to best, now the 30 years of destruction is over.

    I invite you to take this opportunity to study how things could be done better for your people.

  56. Chinese charm says:

    They removed beggers from colombo and begg by hook or crook internationally. In Sri Lanka all are free for their people.Free Food, education and health, housing transport is very cheap. They dance drink and multiply. There are countries always donate houses, medicine, tractors, bicycles, cloths ets, etc. Give jobs at UN for rapers and murderes. Remove the glasses look with the naked eyes. they always write off loans for sri Lanka.
    Yoy only compare SL with India. Compare with normal standard.

  57. Chinese charm says:

    Dr noel says he can’t remember any famine. In 1971-72 people died without food. let them sing for their supper.

  58. chelliah says:

    hello mr dbs,

    we mean the tamils

    you also once we because you were born a tamil.

    before you became an anti tamil as and when you choose to…

    nobody has given me any permission to speak on behalf

    of the we.

    i have the right to speak on behalf of we because i am one of the defenders of we.

    unlike you, pick and choose and change alligiance as and when you please!

    hope you understand my explanation.

    DBSJ RESPONDS;
    Oh the above was an “explanation”?Thank you for trying but I didn’t comprehend. Perhaps you would be kind enough to humour me by providing another explanation of your explanation?pleeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssseeee

  59. Sudhu Kilbert says:

    You cannot go any lower than this…
    What a looser!

  60. Sudhi Kill Bird says:

    You cannot go any lower than this…
    What a looser..

  61. Morgan Jurado says:

    sorry dear you are not with the reality, I do not know why you are having the name londoner, if you are in london pl come see our country where it is heading. just let you know if all the citizen of Sri lanka equally treated from the very first from independence we would not have plunged into the war allowing space and time for politician to become fat with corruption. we are selling our nation, MR group trying their best in crushing democracy in south, denying the equality to minority gripping their life in militarised rule. if you can please come and visit places like Thehiyattakandya, kilinochchi etc. probably you are pretending to be sleeping as the tamil diaspora did during the LTTE time so I think no body can wake you up until you wait to see the end of the destruction. (as exactly what the tamils saw at the end of the LTTE). by the mean time though india has plenty of its own problem and differences between classes it is becoming more economically strong and self reliance where Sri Lanka growth is happening with so much of borrowing. mind you you would not have won the war without India, China, Pakistan, Iran and the blind eye of the west with prohibition of LTTE in the western world. you fail to understand the fruit of this article and my point of view. the whole point is, there is much good human dignity and culture remains among sri lankan common men but the state machinery is failing and the common man in intimidated and threatened so much he only can watch what is happening with appalling silence. pl do not pretend that you do not know the fact that the state waited until Duminda silva leave the country to issue arrest warrant on him. Kumaram Padmanathan could be brought from Malaysia but not Duminda Silva from Singapore. I am not writing this to you. you can’t be changed. this is for the other blog readers. Mervyn Silva pretending himself like king of Keleniya fearlessly can tie a samurthi man with tree and assault him. King MR appointed a commission which proven king Mervyn’s innocence and the ministerial post given back to Mervyn. i am sorry i am wasting my time for nothing. bye

  62. Morgan Jurado says:

    sorry dear you are not with the reality, I do not know why you are having the name londoner, if you are in london pl come see our country where it is heading. just let you know if all the citizen of Sri lanka equally treated from the very first from independence we would not have plunged into the war allowing space and time for politician to become fat with corruption. we are selling our nation, MR group trying their best in crushing democracy in south, denying the equality to minority gripping their life in militarised rule. if you can please come and visit places like Thehiyattakandya, kilinochchi etc. probably you are pretending to be sleeping as the tamil diaspora did during the LTTE time so I think no body can wake you up until you wait to see the end of the destruction. (as exactly what the tamils saw at the end of the LTTE). by the mean time though india has plenty of its own problem and differences between classes it is becoming more economically strong and self reliance where Sri Lanka growth is happening with so much of borrowing. mind you you would not have won the war without India, China, Pakistan, Iran and the blind eye of the west with prohibition of LTTE in the western world. you fail to understand the fruit of this article and my point of view. the whole point is, there is much good human dignity and culture remains among sri lankan common men but the state machinery is failing and the common man in intimidated and threatened so much he only can watch what is happening with appalling silence. pl do not pretend that you do not know the fact that the state waited until Duminda silva leave the country to issue arrest warrant on him. Kumaram Padmanathan could be brought from Malaysia but not Duminda Silva from Singapore. I am not writing this to you. you can’t be changed. this is for the other blog readers. Mervyn Silva pretending himself like king of Keleniya fearlessly can tie a samurthi man with tree and assault him. King MR appointed a commission which proven king Mervyn’s innocence and the ministerial post given back to Mervyn. i am sorry i am wasting my time for nothing. bye

    by the mean time from your other comment i understood you living in London, why are you here your MR has brought a heaven in the world please go and help him to develop the nation if you are a real patriot?

  63. Suresh says:

    First of all comparing Indian cities with Sri Lankan is utterly foolish. India is the world’s second largest population. The cities are extremely busy and crowded. For example, the population in the city of Mumbai is higher than Sri Lanka. Unlike Sri Lanka, India is developing at an exponential rate. India does not beg or take huge loans from other countries. They do not export their women as slaves (maids, nannies, and cleaners) to other countries where as the Sri Lankan economy depends mainly on the number of women workers they send to other countries.

    Secondly, this lady Alaka Basu is from North India, it looks like she has not been to most parts of India. At the same time she has aslo not seen most parts of Colombo. Very obviously, any Sri Lankan living in Sri Lanka knows very well, how safe their women folks are, how clean the busy and crowded Colombo city is and about the beggers in Sri Lanka.

    India is trying hard to develop their country, get rid of poverty and keep the country clean at their own cost. Sri Lanka is trying to do everything at other countries cost or by taking huge loans or by selling their women (as labor) to other countries.

    In order to compare India with Sri Lanka you should take many factors into consideration. By simply travelling from Colombo to Kandy or by looking at a few cities of India a person cannot come to such conclusions.

  64. Dallas Man says:

    I agree with Prof Alaka. Sri Lanka is the best. Last year I went to Chennai (Thamil Nadu), my bitter experience started with Chennai International Airport, I was disappointed with their washroom and it was so dirty (you have to compare Bandaranayke International Airport with CIAP and than you will know the difference) it is not the way to maintain an international airport. Indian Airport Authority is doing a fantastic job in killing the image of Great India. Anyway an Indian Gentleman, guess he was a Tamil, but he didn’t mention about his ethnicity, defended his country, “Oh this is old Airport, wait and see the new Airport, you will be surprised. By the way BIA was the gift of Chinese Government, ours is our own.” Then I went to New Delhi and Mumbai. Oh my, now Chennai Airport was the best. Also went to Taj Mahal. In and around Taj Mahal it was sickening, so were many areas in Mumbai. It is like Bolywood Movies, one watching Hindi movies would think all of North India, you only see very handsome people, there is no average, but in reality, it is completely different. Bolywood has created a hype, and it’s not real. India (everywhere) just a showcase. Nothing real. At least part of real Mumbai, and real India was shown in Slumdog Millionaire. Sri Lanka (everywhere) and Sri Lankan People (everyone) are much much much better than India and Indians.

  65. Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan says:

    The Canadians might not agree with or appreciate your understanding and attempt to teach the world “the BIA was a gift from the Chinese” Next time you go that way do take some effort to see the name of the road that starts from Negombo Road to KIA. The subsequent modernisation carried out – more thab once within a few years -was done by huge Japanese and other loans/funds.

    ISS

  66. Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan says:

    My last comment was in response to Dallas Man

    ISS

  67. lila says:

    This not the testimony for whole Srilanka. There are several slumps in colombo.

    Don’t you know pettah environment? Don’t you know crowd in galle road buses

    My view is that original article contains full of fantasy or she must have travelled different country.

  68. Thavaratnam says:

    It clearly show the distinct from India and Lanka.

    I am still remember the event was in 1988, I was speaking with a School teacher near Jaffna College, The teacher introduced me a captain from IPKF who is native Kerala, He was asking the teacher that, you all having good road, good schools, every house has electricity and most of the houses were built- not in cottage so why you guys are still fighting? Yes the question is reasonable in his view.

    Thanks DBSJ to reproducing the Prof. Article.

    Regards,
    Ratnam.

  69. ma-rout-ti says:

    Yeah man, Sinhalan
    The gassing is a solution taken from the Tamilian playbook of LTTE and Prabhakaran.. if it was good enough for you …… what’s the problem ?

  70. sub says:

    Sounds like ‘Colombo Kolla’ is just regurgitating negative news reports that he’s read online and has no recent actual direct first hand experience of Sri Lanka. He has either not been to Sri Lanka in 20 years or has never been to India to see how much cleaner Sri Lanka actually is.

    Professor Basu’s observations are not new or revalatory at all. Most Indian tourists say the exact same thing.

    Sri Lanka is noticeably and much cleaner than India. This is something that almost all tourists from India comment on. By the way, this cleanliness is quite recent and mostly thanks to the efforts of Gotabaya Rajapakse who finally fixed ‘the garbage problem’. (However, to be fair, although Colombo is much cleaner than Indian cities, it is still nowhere near as clean as most western cities.)

    To those of you who haven’t been to Sri Lanka in a long time, go to youtube and do a search for “Colombo development”. You will see how much cleaner and more developed Colombo has become compared to even 5 years ago.

  71. sub says:

    Chelliah,

    You obviously haven’t been to Sri Lanka in a very very long time.

    Since you haven’t been there in so long and therefore obviously rely on hearsay, rumors and news reports for your information, your views and perspective are not credible.

    At least Professor Basu actually visited Sri Lanka and directly experienced the country for herself. She cannot be faulted for writing from her heart about her direct observation and experience of Sri Lanka.

    It is now the year 2012 and Sri Lanka is nothing like the country you remember it to be when you were last there in the previous century.

    p.s. About 171,000 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2011, many of them Tamils from Tamil Nadu. Everyday there are 10-20 flights arriving at Colombo airport full of Tamil tourists from Tamil Nadu. Additionally, thousands of diaspora Tamils visited Sri Lanka last year, many for the first time since the 1980′s. This is just something for you to think about before you spew out any more of your nonsense.

  72. Is there hope? says:

    Taj Mahal must be getting visitors every day which must be equal to the population of Sri lanka!!!
    Bombay, Delhi, and Chennai airport must be flying passengers 100 times more than the BIA. India must be getting tourists 10 times more than the Sri Lankan population everyday!!!

    There is nothing in Sri Lanka which India does not have whether it is archaeological, or natural scenery or variety of food!!

    If she had seen the whole of SL and stayed for a few days, she would have written a different story!!!

  73. From Ambalangoda says:

    Man, Racism is oozing out of every pore of Chelliah.

  74. TRN says:

    Hey please beware do not use ‘Tamils’ !! we are all Humans first. Call South Indians, Sri Lankans….

    I consider Tamil to be a language of communication. Dravidian is a culture. Sri Lanka/India is the country they were born to….

    Can we change our attitude please!!

  75. Dallas Man says:

    Mr. ISS it was not my comment, that’s what that gentleman told me. I did not know whether it was by Chinese or Japanese. I was just comparing India and Sri Lanka based on my experience, that’s all.

  76. Dallas Man says:

    I agree Chennai International Airport and other Airports in India must be flying passengers 100 times more than BIA, but my observation was not about traffic. I am talking about cleanliness, the standard….the soap dispenser in the washroom etc. etc. But no offence, compare to Sri Lanka they are 50 years behind.

  77. Rohan says:

    Sub

    You sound like a joker.

    First of all you are saying ‘Colombo Kolla’ has either not been to Sri Lanka in 20 years or has never been to India to see how much cleaner Sri Lanka actually is.

    And then you are saying this cleanliness is quite recent and mostly thanks to the efforts of Gotabaya Rajapakse who finally fixed ‘the garbage problem’.

    If this cleanliness is quite recent (your own words) then why talk about 20 years???

    And then you are asking people to go to Utube to find out how cleaner and developed Colombo has become…….
    What a JOKE!!!

    Whether Sri Lanka is noticeably cleaner than India or not is one matter but what is very clear is that Sri Lanka has definitely produced Jokers and idiots.

  78. Kota says:

    well said sub

  79. Chennai dude says:

    For all those who are comparing Indian cities with Colombo, please read this if you do not know your Country well.

    http://lsd11.wordpress.com/2006/10/27/colombo-the-all-mighty/

    Sixty three percent of the Colombo city population, the superior majority, live in huts, slums or unauthorized structures, and they only occupy nine percent of land from the total area of the Colombo District.

    The 2001 survey carried out by the Colombo Municipal Council has identified a total of 77,612 families living in 1,614 low-income settlements in the city, but no action has been taken by Local or International hypocritical power houses to rectify the appalling human crisis.

    Recent surveys have shown that 54% of the city population occupies dwellings that are either illegal constructions or designated unsuitable for humans. What is worse is that it is a problem that would grow in the coming years as more people would migrate to the city in search of jobs resulting in a further increase of slum dwellers.

    Out of the estimated 1,000 acres, 71% have been taken over by those living in shanties and huts. According to the Ministry data, COLOMBO HAS SOME 63 SLUM AREAS which reflect a massive housing problem coupled with a migration trend. Likewise, 12% of the land so held are occupied by those living in unauthorized dwellings.

    On the other hand, the total slum population of Tamil Nadu in the selected 63 Municipal Towns as per the Census of India 2001 is 2,838,366. This forms around 20.02 % of the total population of the Towns.

    http://www.yorku.ca/bunchmj/ICEH/proceedings/Chandramouli_C_ICEH_papers_82to88.pdf

    More than 54% of Colombo’s population lives in slums compared to only 25.6% in the city of Chennai.

  80. Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan says:

    If Marleen will allow me, Federalism is not the brain child of Dixit and Rajiv G (1987) The Federal formule here is much older. In the early 1950s the Federal Party brought to fore the idea of SWRD (Made in Jaffna 1926) and suggested Federalism as the key to unlock our then emerging National Question. Besides, matters of vital policy go through a process of study, careful scrutiny and adoption by a long chainin India, It is not left to be decided by a few individuals – however high they are placed in Indian governance.

    The Federal form of government does not necessarily have to succeed only in large countries. The Canton form of governance successfully practised in smaller Switzerland is a form of federal government. Perhaps readers might give other examples of small countries opting for federal rule.

    ISS

  81. I'm Eelam says:

    did u observe an ‘administrator’ ran away from the street?
    I’m Eelam

  82. sub says:

    Rohan,

    Thank you for pointing out the lack of clarity in what I wrote.

    Colombo has been cleaner than most Indian cities for decades. Even at it’s dirtiest, Colombo still has been cleaner than most Indian cities. Even in the 1970′s, and 1980′s Indian tourists to Sri lanka were commenting about how clean Colombo is compared to Indian cities.

    In the last few years there has been a major drive to make Colombo even cleaner and to ‘beautify’ Colombo. This is credited to GB who has taken over the Urban development Authority. Garbage removal and disposal was an issue for a long time. GB put a system in place and created the Environmental Police to ensure that garbage collection and disposal is done properly. Now Colombo does not have a garbage problem.

    And I being up the 20 years for one reason. There are those who have not been to Sri lanka or Colombo in decades so their memory of the country is totally out of date. Their memory is not born of recent direct experience like Prof Basu, but hearsay and newspaper reports. (By the way, are you one of these people?). If they were to visit Colombo today they would be shocked at how much it has developed and how different it is compared to 20 years ago.

    By the way, here are the Colombo development youtube videos I referred to:http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=colombo+development

  83. anonymoys says:

    In reply to Thevaratnam’s comment:
    Thavaratnam says:

    I am still remember the event was in 1988, I was speaking with a School teacher near Jaffna College, The teacher introduced me a captain from IPKF who is native Kerala, He was asking the teacher that, you all having good road, good schools, every house has electricity and most of the houses were built- not in cottage so why you guys are still fighting? Yes the question is reasonable in his view.
    Thanks DBSJ to reproducing the Prof. Article.

    In Sri lanka the fight was Launched by the people like Chelvanayagam and Naganathan who were not concerned about tarred roads, houses, schools etc., for the rural people, but wanted kingly power (ARASU) for themselves, the leaders who actually lived in Karuvakaadu (Cinnamon Gnda) and were the absentee land-lords of the North.

  84. velayuthan says:

    In reply to Thevaratnam’s comment:
    Thavaratnam says:

    I am still remember the event was in 1988, I was speaking with a School teacher near Jaffna College, The teacher introduced me a captain from IPKF who is native Kerala, He was asking the teacher that, you all having good road, good schools, every house has electricity and most of the houses were built- not in cottage so why you guys are still fighting? Yes the question is reasonable in his view.
    Thanks DBSJ to reproducing the Prof. Article.

    In Sri lanka the fight was Launched by the people like Chelvanayagam and Naganathan who were not concerned about tarred roads, houses, schools etc., for the rural people, but wanted kingly power (ARASU) for themselves, the leaders who actually lived in Karuvakaadu (Cinnamon Gnda) and were the absentee land-lords of the North.

  85. Kalu Albert says:

    A highly pertinent point.

    Sinhalese never call them Sinhala Canadians , Sinhala Americans, or Sinhala Britons.

  86. ambi says:

    Compaired to India, (in some aspects) Srilanka comes out better. We can celebrate the goodness in SL but we cannot stop there.
    We want to be compaired to countries like Singapore Malaysia in development and come out as equal or better. In all this develpment one thing we must not lose sight of is the charitable attitude we have. We as a nation are hospitable and helpful. We are getting into the rat race, materialism and are beginning to lose some of it. We should be vigilant and never let go of the caring attitude. If we do this then we will widen the gap between the haves and have nots like in India.
    I agree with the comment Ambalangoda man has made about working towards getting all Srilankans on board and working towards prosperity of SL so that no mother will be compelled to leave her family and go abroad to work and suffer abuse.
    Let us stop pointing our fingers towards the politicians and look at what they have done or not done. Lets look at ourselves honestly and see how we can contribute towards improvements.
    Please look at this clip and see what this amazing 26 year old Srilankan doctor is doing. If he can do it, so can we all.
    Lets not waste time and energy in fault finding.
    God Bless every one

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-12-03/sam-prince/2363320

  87. Gotymbara says:

    Chinese Charm, 1971-72 was not a famine. It was a political experiment. We never had a famine.Where were you????

  88. sub says:

    Chennai dude,

    There is a major problem with your numbers. They are completely out of date. They are from 2006 and 2001.

    These numbers also don’t change the fact that the most common comment Indian visitors to Sri Lanka make is that Sri Lanka is much cleaner than India, and Colombo is much cleaner than Indian cities.

    This is not just a few people observing this. It is thousands of Indian visitors to Sri Lanka making this observation that Colombo is visibly much cleaner than Indian cities.

  89. TRN says:

    Add some more thoughts:

    Except for polarization in the northern peninsula & the south, SL has mixed communities in all other regions.

    Therefore it is reasonable to call ‘northerners’ & ‘southerners’, which is devoid of racism.

  90. TRN says:

    above was a reply to ambi.

  91. Chennai dude says:

    Sub,

    When did you last visit Sri Lanka??? The following was reported in December 2009. Do you think within these 2 years a sudden major change has taken place for Colombo to become clean???

    http://worldslums.blogspot.com/

    I am not going to call you a Joker but let me explain to you in simple layman language so that you may be able to understand things.

    With regard to cleanliness, you are foolishly trying to compare Colombo with the Indian cities.
    You may know that in Singapore, if you spit or drop something on public areas you will be fined. Similarly, in the developed countries, people are disciplined not to spit or drop things (dirty) in public areas.

    When it comes to South Asian countries like India and Sri Lanka, people are free to spit or drop things in public areas, there is no such law to punish them and the people are not disciplined like in the developed countries.

    Now, if we consider your argument, there is only one simple reason why Colombo may look a bit cleaner than the Indian cities. If you take the number of people in a square area in Colombo and any city in India, the ratio is more than one to hundred (due to the high Indian population). So if one person spit/drop things in Colombo within a given square area, more than 100 will do the same in Indian cities. Did you understand the logic???

    On the other hand, if you think that the reason for the above is because the Sri Lankans are cleaner than Indians, then it is good news for Indians. In fact I also read somewhere that the Arabs are amazed with the cleaning skills/abilities of Sri Lankan women (one of the reasons for them to recruit hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan women as cleaners).

    India is developing at an exponential rate, with massive development projects. The salaries in India for almost every profession has increased to such high levels (almost 10 fold in some cases) that most of those who left the country for employment outside are returning to India. Some Indian companies have started recruiting the Indians from mid-east and even from the west back to India.

    The rate at which India is prospering, very soon India will be recruiting these highly skilled Sri Lankan women for cleaning Indian cities and houses. I am sure India will pay a much higher salary than the middle-east or Singapore for the Sri Lankan women. Very soon the recruiting agents will be replacing mid-east and Singapore with India. Don’t you think it is better for your women to work as cleaners in Buddha’s birth land for a better wage than in Arab land?

    You were also talking about the Colombo development plan. Even all the Indian cities have major development plans. For example, the Chennai development plan has already started and by 2020 it will beat Singapore. Chennai ranks well on Top in infrastructure development & this has been made possible thanks to single minded approach to develop Chennai’s wealth.

  92. Kumar says:

    Chennai dude,

    What nonsense,
    SL population density is higher than that of India.
    India will recruit SL for cleaning, ? What !!? 40% of people of India below poverty line.
    Poverty India is such that 02 million children die annually before they reach 5th Birthday, due to malnutrition, lack of hygienic drinking water (Unicef) Haven’t you seen this Ad. In Indian TV channels ?

  93. Kumar says:

    Thank you, lovely lady for your lovely article about Sri Lanka.
    My only worry is that no body in Kandy had guided you to do brief ,only about 50 Km from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya city , to enjoy a truly breathtaking view of (Kandy-Nuwara Eliya road,) hill country.
    Don’t forget this next time. You will definitely feel better than Delhi – Shimla trip, though it’s only a fraction of Shimla trip.

    Though Delhi may be bit dusty, due to heavy development works going on there & most importantly dry climate.
    But what really attracted me in New Delhi is people’s life style,
    Great, I think 80% are vegetarians, no any meat or meat product in huge Supermarkets, Malls in New Delhi.
    I thought for a moment though SL’s calls them Buddhists, some real Buddhist practices are found in Indians, by refraining from eating animal flesh. I told this many Buddhists in Sri Lanka, they agreed. …To satisfy my taste for “animal flesh” I had to travel some 10 km in New Delhi to find any frozen or fresh meat or fish of any kind. (in Colombo it’s available in every small shop)
    I salute people of New Delhi for their superiority in this practice, though some of them are super rich even according to world standards, (having private Lear Jets etc.)

  94. cuttige says:

    For the information of all who are comparing SL & Indian air ports:

    when I travel via BIA & on my return to SL, I have heard many tourists comment ‘ this is bloody clean for a 3rd world country!!’

    That was even before GR started cleaning the cities.

  95. sinhalan says:

    Chennai dude,

    Only good thing about the highly skilled SL women cleaning houses in India vs ME is in India they will not have to clean any toilets because you guys dont have any. Just like the Afghans you guys are surface shi….s. :)

    You can go on youtube and look at the videos for yourself.

  96. sub says:

    Chennai dude,

    I am starting to think that you are a ‘Google Expert’ (someone who gets his information from Google searches and spews out all kinds of facts and figures that don’t add up and has little on-the-ground real-life direct experience of that which he writes about.)

    Have you even been to Sri Lanka?

    (By the way, the last time I was there was last year, 2011. I go every few years. I have been to India several times also. Colombo in 2011 was noticeably cleaner and better maintained than 2008)

    You say it is foolish to compare Colombo with Indian cities, but that is what Prof Basu and probably every one of the 171,000 Indian tourists who visited Sri Lanka last year did. It is only natural to compare. Just like a Sri Lankan visiting India naturally compares it to SL. And like Prof Basu, the impression most Indian tourists have of Sri Lanka and Colombo is that Sri Lanka is cleaner than India. “Sri Lanka is so clean” is probably the most common observation and comment Indian tourist make of Sri Lanka.

    Instead of trying to rationalize and argue using google information and nonsense figures & logic, visit Sri Lanka. Visit Sri lanka and spend a few hours driving around Colombo. You will see and EXPERIENCE that Colombo in general is visibly and significantly cleaner than not only Chennai but most Indian cities.

  97. sub says:

    DBS,

    Here is a recent article you might find interesting appearing in “The Hindu” in which an Indian visitor to Sri Lanka writes about how Kandy compares to Indian cities…

    http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-propertyplus/article2502028.ece

  98. TRN says:

    Thank you sub for posting the link.

    Yes proud that our expertise had continued and we have a very good system in our country.

    This privatizing business will destroy our social fabric.

    We have developed a very good education,health, irrigation and now strong water systems since independence.

    All of us citizens should be responsible to sustain these systems and prevent politics creeping and destroying the very roots of our society.

    The haphazard privatisation will completely destroy the best system in SEA that was functioning since early 1930s.

    The petty clashes between communities have put our country back 50yrs. If all citizens realise that we need to preserve the wealth of resources we already have, then we can progress forward correcting the mistakes of the past.

  99. Antany says:

    Sri Lankan cities have been clean always compare to the Indian cities. Sri Lanka would have been developed far better country than Singapore, if only the Sinhalese leaders did not discriminate the Tamils, and the Tamils did not follow the Indians and took the arms against the Sinhalese people. The country is far behind, because of the stupidity of the Sinhalese and Tamils. Have they understood their stupidity after thirty years of fighting? Only time will tell.

  100. samarasekara says:

    Chennai dude says:
    January 26, 2012 at 12:23 am
    I am sure India will pay a much higher salary than the middle-east or Singapore for the Sri Lankan women. Very soon the recruiting agents will be replacing mid-east and Singapore with India. Don’t you think it is better for your women to work as cleaners in Buddha’s birth land for a better wage than in Arab land?
    ———————————–

    DO YOU HAVE TOILETS TO BE CLEAN?

    In August of 2011 year, I travelled more than 7000 km in India. The first time in my life I had experience of using open toilet facilities.
    The mere reason was there were no toilet facilities. Irrespective of gender all people aught to using it.

    All the river banks and side by the road was full smell with urine.
    DON’T TALK RUBISH.

    samarasekara

  101. ambi says:

    One of the good things that has come out of this article is, that Srilankans seem to be proud of SL and are making positive comments.
    We must not get carried away, there is plenty to do. If every single one of us decide to not drop litter and follow the rules Singapore has (even without law being enforced) we would be doing great service to our motherland.
    We should start thinking about what we are going to leave for our future generations and also about the quality of life for us when we are aging.
    The time is NOW
    As Rumi says ‘ When I was clever I wanted to change the world, and when I became Wise I began to change myself’
    Let us all become WISE.
    I am attaching a clip of a child who is blessed with a Divine voice.
    See/listen to the words. The children are crying and begging us to build a Peaceful World.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foUrBztgzZA

  102. Angan says:

    Chennai Dude,

    Buddha’s birth place is not in India. It is in Nepal. Buddha attained enlightenment at Gaya, which is in India.

    Ofcourse, India will always be an important place for Budhists wherever they are. Since Hindus believe, Buddha as a reincarnation of God, it is for Hindus as well.

  103. Ween says:

    Prof. Basu,

    I’m a Sri Lankan and I totally agree with your views. But I have to say something about your ps. – because cheating is not a common practice in SL. Majority of people are honest. You may find that kind of acts (man who cheated Banana) all over the world, more or less.

  104. shankar says:

    Ween says

    You may find that kind of acts (man who cheated Banana) all over the world, more or less.
    ———————————————–
    Over to you gota.Please send white van to pick him up.He has brought disrepute to srilanka and is a non patriot.If not for this cheat Ms.basu would have a fourth point in our favour,that is that unlike india, srilanka is full of honest people.

    DBSJ,just ignore the pure tamil,real tamil,true tamil etc ,’we’ chelliah types.The article was well worth reading and written so well.Thanks for that.

  105. sub says:

    A western tourist’s impressions of the difference between India and Sri Lanka (makes similar observations to Prof Basu):

    http://www.contemporarynomad.com/2009/01/a-different-world/

  106. rd says:

    She is correct and this is not a news ! Every one knows that Sri Lanka is far more clean and has far less poverty.Most of these negative comments about sri Lanka is from Anti-Mahinda Rajapakse people and specially from Tamil Elamists !

    I have been to India and oh boy its so dirty,people peeing everywhere like animals and thousands of slums ! Here in Sri Lanka every kid go to school and no one dies in hunger…(people have problems but its the same in Europe/USA)..Also Sri Lanka`s GDP growth was higher than India last year..the predicted growth for 2012 too is the highest in South Asia..Sri Lanka have a GDP per capita of $2800(more than twice of India`s),life expectancy of 77(India 60),Literacy rate 98%(Ind 70%) & Human Development Index of 0.75(Ind – 0.6)..+ Sri Lanka is the only middle income country in South Asia according to the world bank.So U should expect these differences.

    You were right in saying in Sri Lankan women don`t get abused that much..Sri Lanka`s Gender Equlity Index is on par with Europe and it was ranked ahead of USA in 2008 & 2009..Still It is among top 30 in the world while countries like India & Pakistan are ranked low as 100 or even worse !

  107. rd says:

    She is correct and this is not a news ! Every one knows that Sri Lanka is far more clean and has far less poverty.Most of these negative comments about sri Lanka is from Anti-Mahinda Rajapakse people and specially from Tamil Elamists !

    I have been to India and oh boy its so dirty,people peeing everywhere like animals and thousands of slums ! Here in Sri Lanka every kid go to school and no one dies in hunger…(people have problems but its the same in Europe/USA)..Also Sri Lanka`s GDP growth was higher than India last year..the predicted growth for 2012 too is the highest in South Asia..Sri Lanka have a GDP per capita of $2800(more than twice of India`s),life expectancy of 77(India 60),Literacy rate 98%(Ind 70%) & Human Development Index of 0.75(Ind – 0.6)..+ Sri Lanka is the only middle income country in South Asia according to the world bank.So U should expect these differences.

    You were right in saying in Sri Lankan women don`t get abused that much..Sri Lanka`s Gender Equlity Index is on par with Europe and it was ranked ahead of USA in 2008 & 2009..Still It is among top 30 in the world while countries like India & Pakistan are ranked low as 100 or even worse !

  108. jay says:

    Good observation Merlin Van Tweest …..india has resources ,it is rich in minerals and other things ..it is just like a garland in the hands of a monkey….messed up.

  109. Imran says:

    I landed in Colombo a week back for an implementation project. Before boarding Sri Lankan airlines, I was under the impression that Sri Lanka would be as bad as India or worse. But to my surprise, the crew was excellent. And since I set my foot in Sri lanka, Colombo, I just can’t help falling in love with this place.

    The people are so nice. Well groomed. Excellent civic sense. People follow rules while driving. If you ask some one on the road for directions they go out of the way to help you. Literally everyone speaks English. I mean even the auto drivers, maids … everyone. The city is so clean. WOW!! I just could not believe my eyes. I have not come across even one auto driver who tried to cheat me.

    They say India Shining. (I am a proud Indian. And I mean it.) But it is pity that we have managed to screw things up in our country. I hope it is not too late for us Indians to get our country back on track.

    And as far as Sri Lanka is concerned, I look forward to bringing my family some day for vacation to this lovely country.

  110. Gopi says:

    Visitors from the West to India and Sri Lanka, inavarioubly complain about both the countries. But when comparing they always praise Sri Lanka. Since the present administration took over the reins, the differance is more so clear. The renascence is not only limited to Colombo. From the Paliyagoda fish market to the Galle bus stand up to Nuwaraeliya to the East Coast to the North, the developement is clearly visible. Gota might be having a iron hand, but he and Basil seem to be doing a remarkably good job.

    This is what one visitor had to say after visiting both the countries. Please notice that these observations were done even before May 2009, before the conclusion of the war. Needless to say, things have improved even more today.
    http://www.contemporarynomad.com/2009/02/a-few-whys-as-we-say-goodbye/#more-1181

  111. Indian says:

    On behalf of other Indians, I apologize for the rude post of Chennai dude. That was very rude & ugly.

    I have been to Chennai, it is way below Colombo standards when it comes to cleanliness and beauty. Other Metros in India are much worse (New Delhi is an exception, if you exclude Old Delhi).

  112. Indian says:

    Gopi,

    Most of us know about the problems with our mega cities, we admit them as well. But comparing India and Srilanka is like comparing Jack fruits and apples.

    India is a huge country, with huge internal variations. As someone commented here, comparing a huge country which has survived solely on its strength, which has a huge amount of self respect with a small country like Srilanka which mainly lives on doles from foreign countries is very wrong.

    You might see degrading poverty in India. Yes, it is true. But there is another side to that. The poverty you see in India is because of the fact that India is less brutal in suppressing or killing its own people. Compare the death toll of Srilanka and India since 1947. Srilanka’s death toll due to violence is many times more that of India (if you adjust the factors). Moreover, Srilanka managed to send a large number of people outside its borders as refugees of migrants or simply threw them out whereas India received poor, oppressed people from all surrounding countries (including China).

    India banned female maids to Kuwait when they started treating the maids badly. Srilanka utilized the opportunity and exported plane loads of maids to that country. Had India allowed practices like this or allowed things that happen in Thailand or had we been brutal in suppressing our people like China, probably we would have ensured prosperity to a large section – but I don’t know if the path we adopt is right or wrong.

    I don’t say what Srilanka did is right or wrong. I don’t know whether India’s policies are right or wrong. But one thing I am sure – you can’t compare India with Srilanka.

  113. shankar says:

    Dear indian,i beg to differ that india and srilanka are incomparable as you claim.Just look at the Human Development Report of 2011 which link,i give below.Regardless of which country you belong to humans have an right to basic facilities and a decent living and if a country has not provided that for its citizens then it is responsible and its leaders past and present should be taken to task for negligence.You can see that in the report srilanka is ranked 97th,china is 101 and india is a shocking 134th.

    http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Table1.pdf

    India should get its act together and put its house in order before going and preaching to others about how to govern themselves.Srilankans don’t have any respect for india though they are scared of its power and proximity.Rightly so because when they see the teeming suffering humanity there they feel blessed that they were born in srilanka.Even with the long war of 25 years taking its toll srilanka is ranked 37 places ahead of india in human development.It boils down to leadership and governance and india has been surpassed by srilanka in that sphere.Don’t forget also that indira ghandhi was responsible for this war and Rajiv ghandhi was responsible for prolonging it.Both fittingly paid the price for trying to ruin a small country through a protracted war,instead of a quick solution.

    My advice to you indians is to start doing something and put the pressure on your leaders to deliver or get out,instead of boasting about things that don’t exist.Come out into the streets if need be without meekly like lambs being taken to the slaughter.Your leaders obviously thing that meekness is weakness and are taking full advantage of the timid nature of their flock.

  114. mahesh says:

    Shankar

    I agree that India has to do a lot of catching up with regards to human development report.

    India is doing it. We did not indulge in the tactics used by China in coming up the ladder.

    sri Lanka is a small country and it manages to send people out of it. There is no inward migration. But in India there are a lot of people of Bangladeshi origin. we have also to factor that.

    That creates lot of friction here.

    But still we could have done better in this regard…no doubt. I don’t want to hold brief to the corrupt politicians.

    But the problems in India are gigantic and we have to manage these things within the parameters of Democracy here.

    But don’t say that Indira Gandhi was responsible for this and Rajiv Gandhi prolonged it, thereby absolving the role of your own politicians, the corrupt and cantankerous clergy.

    Don’t say that a solution was not offered. The 13A is a good solution.

    It is unfortunate that it is not implemented in letter and spirit.

    My view is that the people will tell whatever they want to tell loudly and clearly through ballot.

    The chances for the Congress is bleak here. Apart from that the DMK will no longer be taken seriously in this eelam matter and they both will be ridiculed for some time in the short and the medium term.

    Again people of India as Subramaniam Swamy has said think first as Indians and then as Tamil, Telugu, Gujarathi etc.

    Honestly tell me whether the sri lankans think like that.

    you may say that our cities are dirty and your cities are clean. But I would say that we all think like Indians first and Indians last.

    Can you say the same about your own beautiful little island.

    This war happened because the Sinhala nation wanted to swallow the Tamil nation.

    Here in India we do not do things like that.

    We do not alter the demography by settling outsiders etc etc/

    Try to learn these things from India if you can.

    Unless you do that there won’t any end to this bloody conflict, I am afraid.

  115. shankar says:

    mahesh,who trained and funded the militants in india?wasn’t it Indira?

    Who barged in without allowing the vadamarachi operation to proceed further,when the LTTE was on the ropes.Wasn’t it rajiv.

    So aren’t they responsible for the war and prolonging it too?

    Would mahatma ghandhi allowed such policies if he was living at that time?No,in 1983 he would have gone in his simple clothes to the UN and fought for the rights of the tamils.He would have insisted on a referendum to decide their fate.

    He would have embarked on a fast to the death if the UN ignored his request,and that fast would not have been a fast one like the tamil humbug, karunanithi’s.

    Did any indian leader do this?Instead indira adopted a policy knowing fully well that a protracted civil war will break out in the country and ruin it,due to her funding and training.

    Mahatma Ghandhi knew that violence begets violence,but Indira Ghandhi chose the path of violence to obtain relief for the tamils,knowing fully well that this path will only bring more and more misery for them.

    As for Rajiv ghandhi,he was like a bull in a china shop,not able to see the consequences of his actions.

    I agree with you that the 13A is good,but i differ with you that it is good enough to become the ultimate solution.

    It lays the foundation for lasting unity in this country,but foundation only.The house has to be built after that.The walls,roof,bathroom etc.

    I’am a firm believer in incremental devolution.The 13A sets us on the correct path and must be implemented in full quickly.For further devolution we have to be patient until the sinhalese are ready for it.They suffer from a minority complex due to the teeming millions in tamilnadu.So we have to be patient until trust is built up.With the present mob of TNA politicos,the sinhalese cannot distinguish between the LTTE or TNA as the TNA foolishly were ardent supporters of prabhaharan.They consider the TNA as Tiger Nominated Agents as derisively name given to them by Devananda.A change in the elected representatives of the tamil people will be required by the sinhalese if they are to consider further devolution over and above the 13A.

    Implementation of the 13A is good because it will provide a cooling off period where both communities take stock of their past mistakes and lookout for windows of opportunity to seize in the future to come closer to each other.

    I agree with you that india’s secular nature is one of its strong points and is the direction for srilanka also to follow.

    However people cannot live on moral principles alone.They need bread.I hope sonia does not one day say to the indians,if you can’t get bread,eat cake instead.We will get from Rome,venice,Florence,Milan,
    Naples Etc.Plenty for everyone,just as our own Sirimavo said she will get plenty of rice from the moon.Neil Armstrong as you know went to the moon in July 1969.Sirimavo called him to congratulate and asked how was the moon.He replied saying it was very nice.She heard it as lot of rice and promised to bring it down for the srilankan people at the 1970 elections and won a thumping majority.

  116. Murugan says:

    Both Sinhalese and Indians have strong points. Sinhalese are nice whereas North Indians are hardy survivors.
    South Indians are friendly and intelligent.

    Nobody is better or worse than each other.

    Both should be carefully navigate the ship as powers seek to gain hold over the Indian Ocean.
    And both should maintain their pride rather than becoming satellite countries of different powers.
    For depending on another for your power is shaky and unstable and will surely result in ruin.

    I think both Indians and Sri Lanakans should remember:

    Happiness depends on freedom.
    And freedom depends on courage.

  117. mahesh says:

    Sorry it is not Upali it is Udaya Gammanpila. Come Udaya Gammanpila to the boxing ring. I am waiting for you.

  118. sameer says:

    i went 3 times to sri lanka,i did not see any happening about Sinhalese and Tamil like thamilnadu saying,i saw minor tamil live in respectively in heart of Colombo,sri lanka always like to help people,i saw they live in happily than person who live in thamilnadu image in india about sri lanka is totally wrong,when i was in London the said dont go sri lanka,dont use sri lankan air line dont use sri lanken products,i don’t know what is the reson,i experianced sri lankan products are very quality,i select sri lanken as the best air line in south Asia,sri lanka is very peaceful country next Singapore will be sri lnka in near future if Tamil people support

  119. Asoka says:

    Mr. DBSJ, you are capable of writing so many things.

  120. mahesh says:

    I want the Sri Lanka to annul the indo sri lanka treaty and by its extension the 13a. i want sri lanka to antagonize india and thereby paint itself into a corner and be punished like some wild animal and hounded so that this punishment remains in the collective memory of the sinhalese for ages and ages.

Leave a Reply